Sound Engineering is one of those fields that is a blend of art and science. When we speak of art there are few things that cannot be taught but only be learned – learned through practice and through the experience of others.
In most Audio Engineering Schools, students work in an environment that is built for learning, i.e. you are not dealing with direct clients and the environment is built to “ALMOST” represent what a full time working recording studio should be like.
There are both Pros and Cons to this methodology, here even if students make a mistake, they are not held directly accountable for their mistakes. It’s a Sandbox of sorts, but this also stops you from learning the much required real world skills that you need to be able to truly succeed as an Audio Engineer / Musician / Producer.
At Gray Spark Audio Academy, we are both a Recording Studio and an Academy. We aim to incorporate the advantages of both in our teaching, by giving students access to a complete studio where they can work and experiment on their projects as they wish, but also by giving them the responsibility and the privilege of working on real-world projects and learning through them as they progress in the course.
A good engineer is an engineer with a strong work ethic. Clients and Artists want to work with engineers and music producers that are not just talented, but also someone they can rely on. Yes, talent trumps work ethic, but a talented engineer with a great work ethic will always be more in demand than just a talented engineer. In my experience, talent and work ethic both go hand in hand. I’ve rarely seen an engineer that is extremely talented but has a bad work ethic.
This work ethic comes from a drive that I’ve seen in many engineers, the drive to do better work than the last project, to put their client first, to always do right by their artist/producer.
This work ethic cannot be taught in schools or in the classroom, you can tell students what a good work ethic should be, but they are going to have to build on this themselves.